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AbbVie Receives U.S. FDA Approval of Supplemental New Drug Application for VIEKIRA PAK® (ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and ritonavir tablets; dasabuvir tablets) without Ribavirin in Genotype 1b Chronic Hepatitis C Patients with Compensated Cirrhosis


- Approval supported by TURQUOISE-III study showing 100 percent SVR12 (N=60/60) in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected genotype 1b patients with compensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A)

- Supplemental New Drug Application was previously granted priority review designation by the FDA

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., April 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), a global biopharmaceutical company, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for the use of VIEKIRA PAK® (ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and ritonavir tablets; dasabuvir tablets) without ribavirin (RBV) in patients with genotype 1b (GT1b) chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and compensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A). The application was previously granted priority review by the FDA, a designation given to investigational therapies that treat a serious condition and provide a significant improvement in safety or effectiveness. 

VIEKIRA PAK is a prescription medicine used with or without RBV to treat adults with genotype 1 (GT1) chronic (lasting a long time) HCV infection, and can be used in people who have a certain type of cirrhosis (compensated). VIEKIRA PAK is not for people with advanced cirrhosis (decompensated). Patients with cirrhosis should talk to a doctor before taking VIEKIRA PAK.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the United States, approximately 2.7 million people are chronically infected with HCV.1 Genotype 1 is the most common HCV in the U.S.2 Of the total U.S. population with GT1 HCV infection, approximately 77 percent are genotype 1a (GT1a) and 23 percent are GT1b.2

"We are constantly striving to advance clinical care for patients living with chronic hepatitis C," said Michael Severino, M.D., executive vice president, research and development and chief scientific officer, AbbVie. "This approval is especially significant because patients with chronic HCV with compensated cirrhosis are among the tough to treat, and in our study VIEKIRA PAK demonstrated 100 percent cure rates in GT1b patients without the use of ribavirin."

"This provides a very useful option for people infected with genotype 1b infection and compensated cirrhosis. The ability to cure these individuals with just 12 weeks of treatment and without the need for ribavirin is a great benefit," said TURQUOISE-III lead investigator Jordan J. Feld, MD, MPH, research director and clinician scientist, Toronto Center for Liver Disease, Toronto, Canada. "The outstanding 100 percent cure rate from the study confirms that this is likely to be a very effective strategy."

The TURQUOISE-III study included in the sNDA evaluated the use of VIEKIRA PAK without RBV for 12 weeks in GT1b patients with compensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A). Results demonstrated 100 percent (N=60/60) sustained virologic response at 12 weeks post-treatment (SVR12). Patients who achieve SVR12 are considered cured of HCV, as the virus is no longer detectable in the blood. No patients discontinued treatment due to adverse events. The most commonly-reported adverse events (≥10 percent) were fatigue (22 percent), diarrhea (20 percent), headache (18 percent), arthralgia (10 percent), dizziness (10 percent), insomnia (10 percent) and pruritus (10 percent).3

On February 26, AbbVie announced that the European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) granted a positive opinion for VIEKIRAX® (ombitasvir/ paritaprevir/ ritonavir tablets) + EXVIERA® (dasabuvir tablets) and this RBV-free option is now approved for use for the treatment of chronic HCV infected GT1b patients with compensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A) in Europe.

About the TURQUOISE-III Study 
TURQUOISE-III is a multi-center, open-label, single-arm Phase 3b study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of 12 weeks of treatment with VIEKIRA PAK without ribavirin (RBV) in adult patients (N=60) with genotype 1b (GT1b) chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and compensated liver cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A) who were treatment-naïve or treatment-experienced (failed previous therapy with pegylated interferon and RBV). The primary endpoint is the rate of sustained virologic response 12 weeks after treatment (SVR12).1


When taking VIEKIRA PAK in combination with ribavirin, people should read the Medication Guide that comes with ribavirin, especially the important pregnancy information.

What is the most important information to know about VIEKIRA PAK?

  • VIEKIRA PAK may cause severe liver problems, especially in people with certain types of cirrhosis. These severe liver problems can lead to the need for a liver transplant, or can lead to death.
  • VIEKIRA PAK can cause increases in liver function blood test results, especially if people use ethinyl estradiol-containing medicines (such as some birth control products).
    • Ethinyl estradiol-containing medicines (combination birth control pills or patches, such as Lo Loestrin® FE, Norinyl®, Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo®, Ortho Evra®; hormonal vaginal rings such as NuvaRing®; and the hormone replacement therapy medicine, Fem HRT®) must be stopped before starting treatment with VIEKIRA PAK. If these medicines are used as a method of birth control, another method must be used during treatment with VIEKIRA PAK, and for about 2 weeks after treatment with VIEKIRA PAK ends. A doctor can provide instruction on when to begin taking ethinyl estradiol-containing medicines.
  • A doctor should do blood tests to check liver function during the first 4 weeks of treatment and then as needed.
  • A doctor may tell people to stop taking VIEKIRA PAK if signs or symptoms of liver problems develop. A doctor must be notified right away if any of the following symptoms develop or if they worsen during treatment with VIEKIRA PAK: tiredness, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, yellowing of the skin or eyes, color changes in stools, confusion, or swelling of the stomach area.

VIEKIRA PAK must not be taken if people:

  • have certain liver problems
  • take any of the following medicines: alfuzosin hydrochloride (Uroxatral®) • carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Epitol®, Equetro®, Tegretol®, TEGRETOL-XR®, TERIL®) • cisapride (Propulsid®) • colchicine (Colcrys®) • dronederone (Multaq®) • efavirenz (Atripla®, Sustiva®) • ergot containing medicines, including ergotamine tartrate (Cafergot®, Ergomar®, Ergostat®, Medihaler®, Migergot®, Wigraine®, Wigrettes®), dihydroergotamine mesylate (D.H.E. 45®, Migranal®), methylergonovine (Ergotrate®, Methergine®) • ethinyl estradiol-containing medicines • gemfibrozil (LOPID®) • lovastatin (Advicor®, Altoprev®, Mevacor®) • lurasidone (Latuda®) • midazolam (when taken by mouth) • phenytoin (Dilantin®, Phenytek®) • phenobarbital (Luminal®) • pimozide (Orap®) • ranolazine (Ranexa®) •  rifampin (Rifadin®, Rifamate®, Rifater®, Rimactane®) • sildenafil citrate (Revatio®), when taken for pulmonary artery hypertension (PAH) • simvastatin (Simcor®,  Vytorin®, Zocor®) • St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) or a product that contains St. John's wort • triazolam (Halcion®)
  • have had a severe skin rash after taking ritonavir (Norvir®)

What should people tell a doctor before taking VIEKIRA PAK?

  • If they have: liver problems other than hep C infection, HIV infection, or any other medical conditions.
  • If they have had a liver transplant. If they take the medicines tacrolimus (Prograf®) or cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), a doctor should check blood levels and, if needed, may change the dose of these medicines or how often they are taken, both during and after treatment with VIEKIRA PAK.
  • If they are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or if they are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if VIEKIRA PAK will harm a person's unborn baby or pass into breast milk. A doctor should be consulted about the best way to feed a baby if taking VIEKIRA PAK.
  • About all the medicines they take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some medicines interact with VIEKIRA PAK.
    • A new medicine must not be started without telling a doctor. A doctor will provide instruction on whether it is safe to take VIEKIRA PAK with other medicines.
    • When VIEKIRA PAK is finished, a doctor should be consulted on what to do if one of the usual medicines taken was stopped or if the dose changed during VIEKIRA PAK treatment.

What are the common side effects of VIEKIRA PAK?

  • For VIEKIRA PAK used with ribavirin, side effects include tiredness, nausea, itching, skin reactions such as redness or rash, sleep problems, and feeling weak.
  • For VIEKIRA PAK used without ribavirin, side effects include nausea, itching, and sleep problems.

These are not all of the possible side effects of VIEKIRA PAK. A doctor should be notified if there is any side effect that is bothersome or that does not go away.

This is the most important information to know about VIEKIRA PAK. For more information, talk with a doctor.

People are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including the Medication Guide.

If people cannot afford their medication, they should contact for assistance.

Additional Information about VIEKIRA PAK®

VIEKIRA PAK® has been studied in a broad range of genotype 1 (GT1) patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, ranging from treatment-naïve to difficult to treat patients, such as those with compensated (mild, Child-Pugh A) cirrhosis of the liver, HCV/HIV-1 co-infection, liver transplant recipients with normal hepatic function and mild fibrosis, and those who have failed previous treatment with pegylated interferon (pegIFN) and ribavirin (RBV). VIEKIRA PAK is contraindicated in patients with moderate to severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh B and C) due to risk of potential toxicity. VIEKIRA PAK consists of the fixed-dose combination of ombitasvir 25mg (an NS5A inhibitor), paritaprevir 150mg (an NS3/4A protease inhibitor), and ritonavir 100mg (an HIV-1 protease inhibitor), dosed once daily with a meal, and dasabuvir 250mg (a non-nucleoside NS5B palm polymerase inhibitor), dosed twice daily with a meal. VIEKIRA PAK is taken for 12 weeks, except in GT1a patients with cirrhosis and all liver transplant recipients with normal hepatic function and mild fibrosis, who should take it for 24 weeks. Ribavirin should be co-administered in GT1a patients, and in all patients who have received a liver transplant.

VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA is approved in the European Union for the treatment of genotype 1 (GT1) chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, including patients with compensated cirrhosis. VIEKIRAX is approved in the European Union for the treatment of genotype 4 (GT4) chronic HCV infection.

VIEKIRAX tablets consist of the fixed-dose combination of paritaprevir 150mg (NS3/4A protease inhibitor) and ritonavir 100mg with ombitasvir 25mg (NS5A inhibitor), dosed once daily. EXVIERA tablets consist of dasabuvir 250mg (non-nucleoside NS5B polymerase inhibitor) dosed twice daily. VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA are taken with or without ribavirin (RBV), dosed twice daily based on patient type. VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA is taken for 12 weeks with or without RBV, except in genotype 1a and GT4 patients with compensated cirrhosis, who should take it for 24 weeks with RBV.

Paritaprevir was discovered during the ongoing collaboration between AbbVie and Enanta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ENTA) for hepatitis C protease inhibitors and regimens that include protease inhibitors. Paritaprevir has been developed by AbbVie for use in combination with AbbVie's other investigational medicines for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C.

EU Indication
VIEKIRAX is indicated in combination with other medicinal products for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) in adults. EXVIERA is indicated in combination with other medicinal products for the treatment of CHC in adults.

Important EU Safety Information

VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA are contraindicated in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh C). Patients taking ethinyl estradiol-containing medicinal products must discontinue them and switch to an alternative method of contraception prior to initiating VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA. Do not give VIEKIRAX with certain drugs that are sensitive CYP3A substrates or strong inhibitors of CYP3A. Do not give VIEKIRAX and EXVIERA with strong or moderate enzyme inducers. Do not give EXVIERA with certain drugs that are strong inhibitors of CYP2C8.

Special warnings and precautions for use
VIEKIRAX and EXVIERA are not recommended as monotherapy and should be used in combination with other medicinal products for the treatment of hepatitis C infection. 

Risk of Hepatic Decompensation and Hepatic Failure in Patients with Cirrhosis
VIEKIRAX and EXVIERA are not recommended in patients with moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh B). Patients with cirrhosis should be monitored for signs and symptoms of hepatic decompensation, including hepatic laboratory testing at baseline and during treatment.

ALT elevations 
Transient elevations of ALT to >5x ULN without concomitant elevations of bilirubin occurred in clinical trials with VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA and were more frequent in a subgroup who were using ethinyl estradiol-containing contraceptives.

Pregnancy and concomitant use with ribavirin 
Extreme caution must be taken to avoid pregnancy in female patients and female partners of male patients when VIEKIRAX with or without EXVIERA is taken in combination with ribavirin, see section 4.6 and refer to the Summary of Product Characteristics for ribavirin for additional information.

Use with concomitant medicinal products 
Use caution when administering VIEKIRAX with fluticasone or other glucocorticoids that are metabolized by CYP3A4. A reduction in colchicine dosage or interruption in colchicine is recommended in patients with normal renal or hepatic function. VIEKIRAX with or without EXVIERA is expected to increase exposure of statins so certain statins need to be discontinued or dosages reduced. Low dose ritonavir, which is part of VIEKIRAX, may select for PI resistance in HIV co-infected patients without ongoing antiretroviral therapy. HIV co-infected patients without suppressive antiretroviral therapy should not be treated with VIEKIRAX.

Adverse Reactions 
Most common (>20 percent) adverse reactions for VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA with RBV were fatigue and nausea.

Full summary of product characteristics is available at

Globally, prescribing information varies; refer to the individual country product label for complete information.

About AbbVie 
AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases. Together with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pharmacyclics, AbbVie employs more than 28,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries. For further information on the company and its people, portfolio and commitments, please visit Follow @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.

Forward-Looking Statements
Some statements in this news release may be forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "project" and similar expressions, among others, generally identify forward-looking statements. AbbVie cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, challenges to intellectual property, competition from other products, difficulties inherent in the research and development process, adverse litigation or government action, and changes to laws and regulations applicable to our industry. Additional information about the economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect AbbVie's operations is set forth in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," in AbbVie's 2014 Annual Report on Form 10-K, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  AbbVie undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as a result of subsequent events or developments, except as required by law.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hepatitis C FAQs for health professionals. Accessed February 4, 2016. 
2 Wedemeyer H. Hepatitis C. Chapter 80: In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. Vol 2. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. 
3 Feld JJ et al. Sustained virologic response of 100% in HCV genotype 1b patients with cirrhosis receiving ombitasvir/paritaprevir/r and dasabuvir for 12 weeks. J Hepatol (2015),


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